Friday, January 12, 2007

Another moral dilemma

So, I went off to a local government office during my lunch hour. When I got there they had a big sign saying "Take a Number", under a display indicating that they were now serving number 978. I grabbed the next number - 035. I sat down to wait and noticed, on the chair to the left of me, number 004. The bloke to the right of me had his number, 032, and when his wife came along I moved left to allow her to sit down, picking up 004 and asking the woman in the next chair to the left if it was hers. It was not. 979, 980, 981 went by in about 15 minutes. I was hungry. I still had 035, I decided to put it in my pocket next to 004 and go to Whataburger for some lunch. I had a delicious double bacon cheeseburger, they didn't make until I ordered it and I ate it fairly slowly, then I went back to the government office, which was even more crowded, and where they were now serving 997. I was now 90 minutes into my lunch hour on a day when there was no other server support in the office. 998 was served, quickly followed by 999. 000 was called, no-one moved. 000 was called again, no-one moved. They moved on to 001, which was the guy sitting next to the woman who said 004 was not hers. 002 was called, no-one moved, 002 was called again. No response. 003 was called, then 5 seconds later, 004. I waited, no-one moved, 004 was called again...

So, what should I have done? What are my obligations to the next 30 people in line who had got there before me and do they outweigh my obligations to the company that pays my salary?

Would it win back any Karma points if I handed 035 off to someone else? Does that make someone else randomly lucky or is it just cheating even more people?


Jen said...

Okay. You asked.

Finders keepers, losers weepers.

It was fair game. Someone decided not to wait the 120,000 minutes and left their numbers on the chair for someone else to find. You found them. You should use them.

Think of it as "in absentia". Someone just held the place for you although you were not present, neither were they. So, out of their negligence you landed a much quicker way out of a long drawn out cunundrum. And if the other 30 people weren't smart enough to pick them up themselves, well, that's why they're still sitting there.

It's even upheld in the court of law. It's not as if you stole a car. . . .

Right. I'm ornery today. Sorry.

Ian said...

Phew, alright then, at least I got this one right.

Wait, finders keepers, losers weepers is an actual law? Are you sure?

Vikki said...

I agree with Jen. Iain doesn't.
Tough luck to the folk who didn't notice the abandoned ticket I say! I would've given the 035 ticket to someone else though.

Ian said...

Woohoo, then I'm in the clear. Plus I gave 035 to the world's saddest looking bloke who had just pulled 091 or something like that